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Making the Most of Your Pet's Routine Exam: What to Ask Your Vet

If your pet is due for a checkup, you might be wondering what to expect and if there's anything you should do to be prepared. To make the most of your pet's routine exam appointment, ask your veterinarian these important questions suggested by our Lincoln vets.

What to Expect During Your Pet's Routine Checkup

When you bring your dog or cat to our Lincoln veterinary clinic for a checkup, your vet will review your pet's medical history and ask about any specific concerns. 

After these initial steps, your veterinarian will perform a physical checkup of your pet, which will usually include any or all of the following:

  • Listening to your pet's heart and lungs
  • Checking your animal's weight, stance, and gait
  • Looking at your pet's feet and nails for damage or signs of more serious health concerns
  • Looking at your pet's ears for signs of bacterial infection, ear mites, wax build-up, or polyps
  • Examining the condition of your pet's teeth for any indications of periodontal disease, damage, or decay
  • Examining your dog or cat's skin for a range of issues from dryness to parasites to lumps and bumps (particularly in skin folds)
  • Palpate your pet's abdomen to assess whether the internal organs appear to be normal and to check for signs of discomfort
  • Checking your pet's eyes for signs of redness, cloudiness, eyelid issues, excessive tearing, or discharge
  • Inspecting the pet's coat for overall condition, dandruff, or abnormal hair loss
  • Feeling along your pet's body (palpating) for any signs of illness such as swelling, evidence of lameness such as limited range of motion, and signs of pain

These tests are designed to detect any signs of health problems in your pet. Since dogs and cats cannot tell us when they are in pain, these tests and checks help determine how your pet feels.

Common Questions That You Can Ask Your Vet

Veterinary appointments are always easier for you and your pet when you are fully prepared, which includes having the questions you want to ask ready to go. Preparing beforehand lets you get all the information you need to help keep your pet happy and healthy.

Below, the vets at our Lincoln animal clinic provide some questions they feel are important for pet parents to ask:

Is my pet in need of any routine vaccinations?

Please remember that vaccines are crucial for ensuring your cat's or dog's health and well-being. Keeping their vaccinations updated is vital for protecting them from various serious and potentially life-threatening illnesses. While the veterinarians at our Lincoln veterinary clinic try to remind you about your pet's booster shots, it's always advisable to inquire about their vaccination schedule to ensure they're properly protected.

Are there any concerns with my pet's behavior?

It's important to take note of any unusual behaviors in your pets, such as biting, wheezing, or itching, that may concern you. If you suspect any underlying health issues, it's best to consult with your veterinarian. Make sure to inform your veterinarian about when these behaviors occurred, as this can help in making an accurate diagnosis.

Do you have any recommendations for my pet's diet and nutrition?

Determining whether your pet is overweight or underweight can be challenging. Pets of all breeds and ages must maintain specific weight guidelines to lead healthy lives. Even a few extra pounds, whether over or underweight, can put your pet at risk for various health problems, some of which can be life-threatening. If your cat or dog is overweight, your veterinarian will collaborate with you to create a diet and exercise plan to help your pet lose weight.

What prevention medication should my pet have?

Fleas and ticks can be bothersome for pets and their owners and spread serious diseases. With many products available, knowing which one is best for your pet can be hard. Your veterinarian can recommend or prescribe a prevention product that will work best for your pet.

Can you please explain the items on my bill?

When you receive the bill from your veterinary office, please ask this question if you don't understand the charges. Your veterinarian can break down the costs and explain what each fee represents to give you a better understanding of the services offered. This can also help you plan for your next visit.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your furry friend due for a wellness exam? Contact Critter Creek Veterinary Hospital to book your pet's next routine checkup today.

New Patients Welcome

Critter Creek Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of pets in Lincoln and the Greater Sacramento Area. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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Contact (916) 408-0201